Outwork the homework

Biology teacher Hunter Labas has implemented a no homework policy during his three years of teaching at HHS


Labas lectures in class for 10-15 minutes before giving students time to do independent work. (G. Sweeney)

By Gretchen Sweeney

It was an hour before the first bell rang for Marian Catholic High School and Hunter Labas was scurrying to finish his homework before the eight hours of school ahead. This was a daily routine for Labas, as well as many students across America.

After graduating from Loyola, with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Secondary Education, Labas was hired at Huntley High School as a Biology teacher. Labas’ love for teaching and love for his students is reflected in his behavior and interactions with his students.

“I like teaching because I want to see people grow,” Labas said. “ I want to be a part of people fulfilling their potential and growing to be something better than they thought they could be.”

 Labas made a promise to his students to not have to endure the stress of a large workload with a ‘no homework policy.

“There is a lot of value in being active in the classroom. When I was a student it was frustrating when I would spend eight hours in a building and then go home and continue to work,” Labas said. 

This policy has caused an uproar of approval in his classroom. 

“The no homework policy made his class less stressful, he was the only teacher that did that and it was easier to manage my time,” junior Ryan Cross said. 

Through his interactive classroom setting, Labas lectures for around 10-15 minutes and then allows the rest of the time for the students to work. His standard format is to give a packet that will span over the course of around two weeks. 

“He had a schedule every day and a format which helped students like me with an IEP,” junior Megan McCoy said.

An IEP is the Individualized Education Plan, which ensures students who have a learning disability receive specialized instruction.

Labas’ teaching format could be compared with blended learning where a lot of the work is on your own, but it is always in class. 

“Working in class allows the students to always ask for clarity and feedback face to face so I know if they understand or not,” Labas said. 

Labas’ no homework policy can be labeled as an opportunity for students to learn better in-class time management skills and to ask for help when needed.